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03 March 2024 / 22. Shabaan 1445

Taking Healthy Action!

There is an alarming rise in cases of Diabetes both on a global and community scale.  More and more people – including youth – within our local societies are falling victim to this disease because of poor lifestyle and eating habits.

To increase awareness on this issue and provide constructive advice on the matter, the World Federation India office conducted a Health Awareness Seminar for Ladies on 16 December 2014. The seminar was conducted by sister Elina Dawoodani who is a certified Nutritionist & Dietician. She is also a Diabetes trainer, manages a diet website and has an active Facebook page on nutrition counselling.

Below are sister Elina’s observations:

‘Eat your food as your medicine or else you’d have to eat medicine as your food’. This adage holds its true essence in this era when more and more people are falling prey to diseases that are not only life-threatening but also degrade the quality of life.

In my experience, I have encountered patients who were in their mid-20s and were suffering from Type II Diabetes, which is a worrisome fact.  Moreover, India is one of the top three nations with highest number of Diabetes which is again jaw dropping. But the good news is that with changes in the diet and lifestyle, diabetes can not only be prevented but also managed excellently.

Thus I shifted my focus to prevention which is much easier than running to every nook & corner for treatment of diseases.

To eradicate the problem from the root level, the change should begin from the kitchen and go up to the jogging track. To achieve this, the first level is to make the women aware and train them on ingredients, cooking methods and quantities. Another advantage of training women is that they would be able to persuade family members to be more physically active and modify their behaviour and approaches.

I’m extremely grateful to The World Federation for giving me this opportunity to interact with the women of our community and speak on prevention and management of Diabetes. Unlike my other experiences, the audience here knew quite a lot about diabetes and was very keen to know about its management. What was more encouraging was the fact that the audience comprised of women ranging from 22 to 65 – all equally enthusiastic. They came up with questions throughout the session which gave me an opportunity to open windows to certain aspects that people are generally unaware of.

All ladies were screened for blood sugar levels. Obesity and BMI tests were also carried out. The seminar was attended by twenty five women and was beneficial to all in understanding Diabetes and its prevention.  A total of three patients were diabetic amongst whom two were diagnosed during the seminar. Those who were found to be diabetic were briefly counselled before the end of the seminar and general guidelines were given to them. It was also found that five ladies in their mid-20s and three youths were obese while two in their 60s were extremely fit. This shows that fitness is not age bound and can be achieved by anyone who strives for it. Health cards were issued to them with the readings taken during examination for them to keep a track.

I would like to conclude by thanking The World Federation and especially Brother Asad Virani for arranging this seminar and giving me the opportunity to help fellow community members.

Dr. Munir Datoo, Head of Health of The World Federation, stated: “We thank Sister Elina for giving her time and sharing valuable information with the women from the community. With the new bigger office of The World Federation in Mumbai we look forward to more health awareness seminars in the coming year.”

Feedback received from participants was also very positive:

Mrs. Namdar stated: “This was a fantastic session. I wasn’t aware of the power we ladies have in our hands to keep our family healthy and prevent diseases by controlling our food habits.”

“The seminar was an eye opener,” said Mrs. Khoja. “I always knew that diabetes is a deadly disease which is prevailing in our community, but now I’m confident that I can fight it in a systematic way.”